Your blog is an efficient and inexpensive way to promote your business. With the right content, you can increase website traffic, connect to your ideal prospect and sell more products or services. But only if your target audience finds and enjoys your content.
In this post, we’re offering a deeper dive into how to optimize blog posts for SEO. It’s not as simple as, if you write it, they will come. You can have the most intriguing unique content, but you won’t be able to increase website traffic, driving the right people to that content, without these technical practices.
(For those new to blogging, start with our guide, 4 Sustainable Content Strategies).
1. Find the Right Keywords
Choosing topics might seem like the easiest part of writing content. You’re likely an expert in your industry and space, after all. But keyword research confirms that these topics are actually of interest to your audience. Moreover, trends and interests quickly change. What may have been a popular search query a few months ago could be a saturated, boring angle now. Keyword research and data help you start in the right place and ensure your topics are on point.
In addition, the more specific a keyword, the better your chance for ranking. Using keyword research tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs will not only give you search volume but also your chance of ranking for that keyword. Look for the right mix of monthly search volume and keyword difficulty.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to use multiple keywords. Neil Patel explains that popular blog posts tend to rank for 38 different keywords.
2. Use Those Keywords Correctly
Keyword placement is just as critical and keyword research. You want to include your keyword in the right place and enough times, but not compromise the integrity of your article. The reader (and search engines) will catch on to instances of keyword stuffing.
Have you ever noticed how online recipes have long stories before the actual recipe, where they mention the name of the dish an unusual amount of times?
Before we get to the recipe for the best healthy chicken parmesan, I want to explain how I first created this delicious dish. My grandma always made the best chicken parmesan, but it wasn’t healthy. So when I started cooking for myself, I thought, how can I make a version of the best healthy chicken parmesan? And finally, one summer night, I did it—I made the best healthy chicken parmesan for dinner…Blah blah blah.
(You get the idea). That’s textbook keyword stuffing, and readers don’t enjoy it. Search engines flag it too. Additionally, when your audience bounces or doesn’t stay on a page, Google takes notice.
So you need to sprinkle in keywords strategically and naturally, try to include them in:
- Your URL
- Your title
- Your meta description
- An H2/H3
- Naturally throughout the copy
Refer to our keyword placement guide for even more pointers.
3. Create Backlink-Worthy Content
Natural backlinks are a sure-fire way to increase website traffic. But the trick is writing content that other writers, websites and editors want to link to.
Try these strategies to earn more backlinks:
Publish Original Research
According to Hubspot, blog posts backed by original research and data receive the most backlinks. To make it intriguing, find a way to use the data to tell a story. If you don’t have the resources to conduct a formal study, use online surveys to gather data.
Write an Ultimate Guide
Search engines reward long blog posts. That same Neil Patel article explained that popular blog posts clock in at about 1839 words. You might not have the capacity to create long-form content exclusively, but you can (and should) include it in the mix. For example, try creating a pillar page, which compiles, summarizes and links to blogs on a similar topic.
Interview an Expert
it’s likely your readers are interested in tips from experts in your field. Interview a thought leader and translate it into a blog post. You could also poll your network and include several opinions on a topical subject. This type of round-up invites backlinks from those interviewed.
4. Focus on the Details
Technical details matter just as much as the quality of your content and the value it brings to readers. So, don’t neglect these technical factors that go a long way in increasing website traffic:
- Optimize meta description: meta descriptions are your pitch for your blog post. If the reader thinks those 155 characters answer their question, it drives clicks and traffic. Search engines also love them. Make sure to include your keyword;
- Check page speed: a slow-loading web page causes high bounce rates and hurts your SEO ranking. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test your page’s speed;
- Use CTAs and internal links: call-to-actions lead page visitors to a desired action (like filling out a form) or to another relevant resource on your site. Both increase time spent and page experience, key metrics that Google uses to determine your site’s ranking.
Increase Website Traffic with Blog Posts
Even in our content-saturated, digital ecosystem, it’s possible to increase your website traffic by strategically creating and promoting blog posts. But it takes time. We’ve worked with clients for years and seen steady increase in their traffic and qualified leads due to a robust content strategy.
If you need assistance, reach out to our content and SEO experts.